In this episode of Healing at the Edge, RamDev lays out a pathway to move past the ego’s fear and suffering, using concentration, mindfulness, devotion, love, and wisdom to expand our sense of self.
Being Ram Dass
Opening the show by sharing a passage from Ram Dass’ new memoir, Being Ram Dass, RamDev speaks to Ram Dass’ mutually conducive relationship with both Bhakti and Buddhism, representing devotional love and direct conscious awareness. Throughout the podcast, RamDev explores his own spiritual balance; particularly Maharajji’s unconditional love, Buddhism’s pure cutting-through, and how these two seemingly divergent paths actually play together, accentuating and deepening our practice and understanding of reality.
“Meditation quiets me and focuses my attention. Then, when I put my mind to Maharajji, the intense concentration opens a doorway to him, to his no-form, to his unconditional love. The combination of Buddhist meditation and Bhakti devotion is still my practice. Integrating Buddhist wisdom with the opening of the heart feels like a completion of both.” – Excerpt from Being Ram Dass)
Suffering & Ego (2:45)
Exploring the nature of ego, RamDev elucidates the two kinds of suffering described in Buddhism. The first suffering is a self-centered attitude, psychological conditioning, neuroses, greed, and narcissism. It is based in a conventional understanding of the ego, and is healed through compassion for self and other. The second style of suffering is a belief in a separate, permanent, concrete self. It is based in a refined sense of ego, and is healed through wisdom – understanding the nature of consciousness.
“Guru, God, and Self are the same…So we’re going from conditioning, to longing for love, to being love itself… Maharajji said, ‘Serve me by always remembering God.'” – RamDev
RamDev and his young friend Chris Britt explore surrendering into the moment and living each day to its fullest, on Ep. 58 of Healing at the Edge
Capital Riots, Stories, & Levels of Consciousness (8:08)
Speaking directly to the outwardly horrific scenes from the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol, RamDev invites us to abide within difficult images like this from multiple levels of consciousness. Can we work with difficult emotions? Not getting caught in the narrative, can we be very directly with the feeling in our body?
“It’s so easy to get lost in the story–it’s so fascinating, compelling, interesting–but as long as we stay on that level, healing is not going to be happening.” – RamDev
Take an illuminating dive beneath the polarization which led to the riots, on Un-lightened Shadows: A Powder Keg of Polarization from our Awakened Heart Blog
Two Breath Meditation (15:25)
RamDev leads a guided two-breath meditation for expanding one’s sense of self into boundless consciousness.
Concentration, Mindfulness, and Tantra (22:11)
Laying out the steps for moving from identification with the ego, to identification with God, or Oneness, RamDev explains the process of cultivating ‘access concentration’ and mindful awareness; applying them with love and wisdom to imbibe Tantra in it’s truest sense.
“First we need enough ‘access concentration’ to develop mindfulness. Then, when we have enough mindfulness, the heart begins to open. When the heart begins to open, this tantric stage of surrendering into God is revealed.” – RamDev
Join RamDev to explore how to work with difficult emotions and states, like anger and delusion, using Tantra, on Ep. 53 of Healing at the Edge